Woman who murdered her husband swears an engagement ring and Viagra will prove her innocence 

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Wife who murdered her husband with poison to claim his $300,000 estate swears an engagement ring and some Viagra are the keys to overturning her conviction

  •  Wendie-Sue Dent, 61, murdered her de facto husband David Lawrence in 2015 
  • She poisoned him with drugs so she could claim his $300,000 estate
  • Dent launched an appeal to have the conviction overturned in SA on Thursday
  • Her lawyer said a Viagra prescription and engagement indicate they were in love
  • Defence said witnesses who could testify their love were not questioned in trial

A woman who murdered her de-facto husband with poison for his $300,000 estate claims an engagement ring and Viagra prescription are key to proving her innocence. 

Wendie-Sue Dent, 61, has launched an appeal against her conviction for the murder of her partner Lawrence in December 2015.  

She had denied the charge at her trial but was found guilty.

Defence counsel Marie Shaw QC told the Court of Criminal Appeal on Thursday that Dent’s conviction flew in the face of a considerable body of evidence of the loving relationship the couple had shared before Mr Lawrence’s death.

Wendie-Sue Dent (left), 61, has launched an appeal against her conviction for the murder of her de facto husband David Lawrence (right) in December 2015

Wendie-Sue Dent (left), 61, has launched an appeal against her conviction for the murder of her de facto husband David Lawrence (right) in December 2015 

She said there was evidence the pair were ‘besotted’ with each other, had become engaged and planned to marry and that he had made arrangements for her to be taken care of after his death. 

‘Immediately proximate to his death they had, as a couple, gone to a doctor to seek assistance (and) Viagra was prescribed… he purchased an engagement ring for her,’ Ms Shaw said, according to The Advertiser

‘They’re living together, they’re travelling together and they plan, essentially, to be happy together for the rest of their lives.

‘That was the common thread throughout the evidence, that the deceased was happy with her and that they were living and behaving as if their lives would be together.’

The court was also told suggestions that a ‘powder keg’ had been created by the fact Mr Lawrence had twigged to Dent being a fraud, based on lies she had told about her past, and that he was planning to end the relationship was just speculation. 

Ms Shaw also said the Crown had also not properly discounted the possibility that Mr Lawrence’s death was an accident.

Dent's defence counsel argued that she and the victim were in love, citing an engagement ring and Viagra prescription as proof

Dent’s defence counsel argued that she and the victim were in love, citing an engagement ring and Viagra prescription as proof 

At her trial, the prosecution said Dent, who lived at Dapto in NSW’s Illawarra region before her arrest, administered Mr Lawrence a mixture of dangerous medications that had all been prescribed to her.

A post-mortem examination revealed the toxic levels of morphine alone were enough to kill the 62-year-old.

In sentencing submissions last month, the dead man’s family said he was helpful and kind to everyone but paid for that with his life.

‘It takes no effort for us to hate you. We will never forgive you, never. You do not deserve that,’ they told Dent in a victim impact statement read to the court.

In those same submissions, defence counsel Martin Anders asked the court to consider Dent’s medical history when setting a non-parole period, describing her as someone with a profound opioid addiction who had operated in a “drug-induced fog’.

But prosecutor Emily Telfer said there was no evidence of Dent being in a fog or removed from reality.

The appeal court hearing was continuing. Dent is due to be sentenced next week.

Dent had denied murdering Mr Lawrence to claim his $300,000 estate, but was found guilty by a jury in April

Dent had denied murdering Mr Lawrence to claim his $300,000 estate, but was found guilty by a jury in April

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